Outdoor food and drink venue falls victim to cost of living crisis

Leeds outdoor food and drinking venue, Chow Down, is closing down after three years.

The venture has blamed the cost of living crisis, changing consumer behaviour for food and drink offerings and increases in all costs involved with running a temporary site, which mean the business is no longer sustainable in its current format.

Chow Down, which began life as a 10-week pop-up in response to the Covid restrictions of summer 2020, will close on Sunday 6 August and depart from its Temple Arches base.

A spokesman for the venue explained: “While this is the end of Chow Down in its current guise, we are exploring new city centre opportunities and aim to relaunch a new concept in Leeds in the near future.

“We would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to our team, traders, DJs, performers, contractors, and most importantly our lovely loyal customers for supporting us.”

During its three-year residency, the venue hosted over 150 street food traders, including kitchen residencies with Sarto, MorMor, Torito Taco, Jimmy Macs, Braizin Squad, Bastards Bistro, Slice Boro and Parmogeddon. It also held the British Street Food Awards in 2021.

The spokesman added: “We have achieved so many things at the current site, including helping to support the regeneration of the Temple district alongside our partners and site developer CEG, who we are hugely grateful to for giving us the opportunity to launch Chow Down and hope to work together again on fresh concepts for Temple Arches in the future.

“Outside of food we launched some amazing event concepts, such as our Winter Village concept which took place over two Christmases, our Camp Drag brunches, plus memorable DJ sets and performances from Fat Tony, Mr Scruff, Crazy P, and Mr Wilsons Second Liners.

“We’re also very proud of our two beer collabs with North Brewing and our mural art projects with local heroes Nicholas Dixon and Melody Mural.”